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Kathryn Bigelow Goes Political For Next Film

by Melissa Silverstein
August 8, 2011 2:48 AM
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It was announced in January that Kathryn Bigelow's next film would be on the hunt for Bin-Laden. The story clearly changed when Bin Laden was killed. The ending was set and the stakes got higher. And they got even higher when the release date was announced by Sony (so this clearly means it will go into way more theatres than The Hurt Locker did) for October 12, 2012, just a couple of weeks before the 2012 election.

Now that Obama is in a bit of a crisis (so to speak) according to Maureen Dowd's column in the NY Times yesterday, the administration is pinning its hopes that the Oscar winner will deliver a film that will create a narrative to help remind the American public that killing Bin Laden is one of the things that the Obama administration has gotten right.

Dowd says that Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal have high level access to government officials:

The moviemakers are getting top-level access to the most classified mission in history from an administration that has tried to throw more people in jail for leaking classified information than the Bush administration.

It was clear that the White House had outsourced the job of manning up the president’s image to Hollywood when Boal got welcomed to the upper echelons of the White House and the Pentagon and showed up recently — to the surprise of some military officers — at a C.I.A. ceremony celebrating the hero Seals.

While The Hurt Locker didn't have any clear cut political agenda this one looks like it might. It's great that Bigelow and Boal are using their hard fought won power to make the kinds of movies they want to. Only time will tell if this will be the type of movie the Obama administration was hoping for. Giving filmmakers access does not guarantee you get the type of film you want.

Downgrade Blues (NY Times)

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  • Laura D. | August 11, 2011 6:01 AMReply

    As Cindy mentions, access and cooperation is not unusual, and does not constitute any kind of violation of law, any more than allowing a reporter access would.

    Do we know what the portrayal will be? Will it be 100% flattering to all involved?

    I think that Ms. Bigelow is more of and independent thinker than that, and you do her a great disservice in assuming she will be merely a mouthpiece for the government. Not to mention, bringing up the Nazis just makes you look rabid and unreasonable.

  • cindy | August 10, 2011 11:39 AMReply

    So they got access, this happens all the time when interests coincide. Many of the big budget action films are made with the blessing, assistance, coordination and help of the military. They gave the script for "The Hurt Locker" to the military and they declined to be involved with that project. With the hunt for Bin Laden picture, it's pretty black and white. I think we can all agree he was a bad guy.

    She did win two academy awards, so I don't think the decision to give her and Boal access is that surprising. Sony decides the release date, not the filmmakers or the US Government.

  • Paul | August 9, 2011 12:20 PMReply

    Hopefully this will land Boal, Bigelow and the ObamaSoros administration in hot water with the Federal Elections Commission as te try to explain how the cost of this movie isn't an illegal contribution in kind because of the violation of the limits.

    Shame on anyone who would willingly pay to see this Leni Riefenstahl-esque agit-prop.

  • Timmeh | August 8, 2011 9:16 AMReply

    Great! Propaganda sanctioned from Dear Leader!

  • Kent | August 8, 2011 8:02 AMReply

    Pining its hopes = pinning its hopes
    October 12, 2011, just a couple of weeks before the 2012 election = October 12, 2012, just a couple of weeks before the 2012 election

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